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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

News: Holland & Knight forms Diversity Council

Today's link is from PR Wire, where companies put out press releases to ensure they are widely publicized. Underscoring the growing importance the business community places on diversity today, and including transgender issues among its programs, the global law firm of Holland & Knight today announced the formation of a Diversity Council to oversee diversity initiatives and programs in its 18 offices nationwide. The inaugural council includes top partners from across the country, and specifically Dianne Phillips, who will co-chair the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Initiative.

Holland & Knight is among the world's 15 largest law firms, with more than 1,150 lawyers in 18 U.S. offices, as well as offices in Mexico City, Tokyo and Beijing, with representative offices in Caracas, Helsinki and Tel Aviv.

The significance of this news, to my mind, is that law firms, particularly large ones, are generally quite conservative and reflect the needs of corporate clients. They are not generally prone to fads. However, they are prone to address issues important to big clients. One of these issues is diversity. As an example, here is a blog link that discusses GE's collecting diversity statistics from the law firms it uses. The company's diversity council meets with the firms that have the least diversity. "If they are not making an effort, we want them to know that this is not acceptable and will affect their relationship with GE."

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